What Are the Laws Governing Georgia Medical Malpractice Cases?

October 9, 2019

Were you the victim of a healthcare provider’s negligence? Then you may have a malpractice claim on your hands. This means you could be entitled to compensation. The best way to asses your rights is to consult a Georgia medical malpractice attorney.

The latter will analyze the details of your case and tell you exactly where you stand. They will assess the value of your medical malpractice claim and advise you on how to approach it. They will explain the most important Georgia medical malpractice laws and how they apply to your case.

While your case is surely unique, the laws governing malpractice cases are the same. We will review them in the following lines.

Georgia Malpractice Laws Overview

1.   The Basics

When medical malpractice occurs, the victim has the right to seek compensation. It can cover:

  • The cost of treating the injury resulted from the malpractice
  • Any financial losses the victim incurred due to the malpractice injury
  • Any future financial losses the victim may incur as a result of the malpractice
  • The victim’s pain and suffering
  • The victim’s loss of happiness, consortium, and other losses related to the malpractice.

In order to obtain compensation, the victim will have to prove several aspects. First of all, they will need to show that the healthcare professional should have complied with a standard of care. Then, they need to show that they somehow breached the standard of care. Finally, they will need evidence of all their losses and of their connection with the malpractice.

Of course, in doing so, they will need to follow strict procedures and meet deadlines.

2. Statute of Limitations

Georgia law, namely section 9-3-71, sets a general deadline of two years from the malpractice. Section 9-3-72 addresses specific cases involving foreign objects left in the victim’s body. The deadline in such cases is of one year from the discovery of the object.

An experienced Georgia medical malpractice attorney may succeed to obtain an extension of the deadline. They may be able to prove that their client only discovered the malpractice later. Perhaps another health care professional prevented the victim from discovering and proving it or the victim was a minor. In some cases, malpractice victims have up to five years to take action.

Generally, the best approach is to act as soon as possible, with the help of a Georgia medical malpractice attorney. This way, there is no risk of having the case dismissed based on time considerations. Also, gathering evidence and following procedures take time as well. Moreover, it all begins, the sooner it ends.

3. The Affidavit of Expert

GA Code section 9-11-9.1 requires everyone filing a medical malpractice suit to provide an expert affidavit. In the affidavit, the expert offers their sworn opinion on at least one medical error of the defendant.

Perhaps they prescribed or administered the wrong treatment, falsified medical records, or made mistakes during surgery. The affidavit will clarify if they violated any medical procedures and, if they did, which ones.

The court will not accept cases lacking the affidavit of an expert. However, if you ask for it, they will give you an extension so that you may obtain it. This limitation usually reaches 45 days. To obtain it, you will have to prove that you have only hired your Georgia medical malpractice attorney.

4. Damage Caps

Although medical malpractice claims can reach huge amounts, they are subject to strict limitations. These refer to non-economic damages like pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment or companionship.

They cannot exceed $350,000 cap when a single healthcare facility is involved.

For claims against several facilities, the cap is at $700,000. There is also an overall cap of $1.05 million per claim for non-economic damages.

But here is the trick: the non-economic damages cap was deemed unconstitutional years ago. Without it in place, there are literally no limits to how much money a malpractice victim could obtain. It will all depend on the specifics of their case, the amount of evidence they can provide, and the performance of their lawyer.

Consult an Experienced Georgia Medical Malpractice Attorney Now!

Would you like to know how the above laws apply to your case? We can help! Our law firm has handled numerous Georgia medical malpractice cases. You too can benefit from our experience and know-how, without even paying.

Call our law offices at (229) 351-5320 and make an appointment with our Georgia medical malpractice attorney. They will provide the answers and advice you need. If you let them, they will take over your case and get you the compensation you deserve.